I was floored to hear someone say to me, “You have a really fun and awesome life. You’re always posting awesome pictures on social media. It’s so much better than mine could ever think about being.”
My life is not “fun and awesome” nor is it “better than” someone else’s “could ever think about being.” There are moments, as in everyone’s life, where things just click… and those are the moments that I share on my personal page.
Fake life or selective choosing?
A social media feed is not an accurate portrayal of a person’s life. In no way, shape, or form should we be measuring our lives against what we’re seeing on social media. If you’re doing this, stop.right.now.
Everyone chooses what they want to put out there. Some share their anger and frustration at what’s happening at work. Some post at 3:00 a.m. that they can’t sleep. Some post about their cheating boyfriends. Some post pictures of cats (guilty!) and their dinner and their flower gardens. These are just brief blips in their life that they’ve chosen to put out there to share with their friends.
I chose to be very selective on how I share on my personal Facebook page. Here, in this column, I write about things that are impacting me personally because I feel like someone else may be where I am right now and not feel so alone after reading my words. Two entirely different approaches and purposes in what I’m posting and where I’m posting it.
What are you sharing on social media?
I sort of take the approach of, “If I wouldn’t say it in front of my grandma, then I’m not putting it out on Facebook,” or I ask myself, “What purpose will be served if I start this conversation?”
Example: I recently resigned my position as president of the town council. I could have gone on a rampage on Facebook extoling all of the down and dirty details of why I walked away from a position that I took very seriously. I didn’t because I asked myself first, “What purpose will be served by putting this out there?” I would have felt vindicated for about 22 seconds… and then all the haters would have started posting comments. I walked away from that position so that what I was constantly surrounded by and dealing with would quit feeding an oncoming bleeding ulcer. Why would I encourage more activity that would do nothing but perpetuate that constant sick feeling in my gut??
It’s not perfect, but it’s mine
My life is far from perfect, as I expect everyone’s is. My court reporting work ebbs and flows in extremes, making it nearly impossible to budget the income. My oldest son is trying to figure out what to do with his college degree, and my youngest is on edge wondering where he’s going to graduate high school from… let alone where he’s going to college. My husband is working a new job, which thankfully includes insurance because I’m going to have to see a specialist and we all know those don’t come cheap. My house is a constant wreck because I am the world’s worst when it comes to housecleaning – I DETEST IT – and I have two cats and a dog that completely defeat the purpose of cleaning anything beyond the toilets anyhow.
And then there’s my two palm plants – I call them my Mom and Dad plants because one came at Mom’s funeral and one came at Dad’s funeral – are a constant form of stupid stress because I’m afraid my black thumb is going to kill them and I can’t bear the thought of it.
So, no. My life is not “fun and awesome” all of the time. I’ll take every moment that is, and I’ll probably share it on Facebook or Instagram on my personal feeds. It’s social media… you’re supposed to be social. But things like this, when I write what I’m feeling or thinking or experiencing, those things don’t “fit” my personal social media page. This is not suitable for the average 1.5-second glance that most posts get. That’s why I created a separate page where I can very deliberately write what’s on my mind or in my heart with the hope that I’m not alone… and with the hope that maybe someone else who feels like they are alone realizes that they’re not.
Value your moments and stop comparing
Don’t measure your life against what you’re seeing from others on your Facebook feed. Each of us have moments that are fun and awesome and unique to us, and I’ll celebrate and be thankful for each and every one of mine. They get me through the darker days, and I guarantee I have dark days and hard times the same as anyone else. Reach out and grab hold of every.single.moment and know that you’ve got this.
From columnist to blogger, Tina began writing in 2015. She blends the various bits of her life — professional, entrepreneurial, and personal — and shares her experiences with you.
Tina's Coffee Break became the means for her to express herself on seemingly random subjects, but subjects that are on her mind and in her heart at the moment — things we can all relate to many times.
Simply put, Tina writes about life’s moments.
Tina has managed her court reporting business for over 20 years. She owned her community newspaper for several years where she first discovered her love for writing through her weekly newspaper column, "Tina's Coffee Break." She was a member of her community's town council for six years, the last three presiding over it as president. Drawing from all facets of her life experience, Tina now provides business strategy guidance to others working to build their own success story.
A mother of two, wife for 32 years, and businesswoman of 25 years, a piece of Tina is in everything she writes.